The junior guard hit six straight charities before missing one with 51 seconds remaining. His 35 straight free throws broke Wayne Simien's mark of 34 set in the 2004-05 season.
The No. 21 Jayhawks (18-4, 7-0 in Big 12) won their fourth straight
road game in conference play and seventh consecutive game overall. KU
is off to its best start in the Big 12 since the 2004-05 team went 9-0.
TWIN TOWERS & A
Junior forward Mario Little and freshman twin forwards Marcus and
Markieff Morris had one of their best games of the season. Marcus had
13 points and six rebounds in 16 minutes, while Markieff posted nine
points, nine boards and two blocks in 19 minutes. Little, meanwhile,
scored all 12 of his points in the second half. He also grabbed three
rebounds in 12 minutes.
Marcus scored eight straight points to open the second half, helping KU
break open a 30-28 halftime lead. Then, after a layup by Collins,
Markieff's three-pointer stretched KU's lead to 10 points (43-33) at
the 15:56 mark. Markieff's layup with 1:59 remaining gave the Jayhawks
their biggest lead (72-59) of the game.
"Let's give it up to the Morris twins and Mario Little," KU coach Bill Self said. "Those guys combined for 34 points and 18 rebounds in 48
minutes. They were key performers. We're not going to get that every
night, but if we can continue to get consistent play out of those guys,
I do feel we're getting better."
"How about the start Marcus got us off to in the second half," Self
added. "Even the time he walked (he swished a jumper on the traveling
call), that was one of the best moves he's made all year because that
was a close call. He was great and how about Kieff, how he went after
the ball. That was fabulous. And, of course, Mario showed us something
when he was out there."
On a side note, Marcus Morris went three of three from the free-throw
line. He's now hit 10 straight charities.
BIG SHOT TYREL
Sophomore guard Tyrel Reed (three points) hit a big bucket (his only
field goal) for the third straight game. With KU leading just 48-47 in
the second half, Reed swished a 15-foot jumper in transition after
Colorado made a 9-2 run. The Buffs got no closer than three points the
remainder of the game.
In KU's 68-62 victory over Nebraska on Jan. 28 in Lincoln, Reed made a
three-pointer with 6:37 left to give KU a 51-50 lead. He immediately
came back on KU's next possession and drained another three.
Then, in the Jayhawks' 66-61 victory over Colorado on Saturday in Allen
Fieldhouse, after the Buffs rallied from a 21-point second-half deficit
to close within two (54-52) at the 6:08 mark, Reed bombed a three to
give KU some breathing room.
SLOW START/HOT SECOND HALF
After shooting just 33.3 percent in the second half against Colorado,
KU's shooting woes continued in the first half versus Baylor. The
Jayhawks opened with 5 of 18 shooting (26.3 percent) and finished the
half shooting 41.4 percent. KU didn't take its first lead (28-26) until
a jumper by Collins with 43 seconds remaining before halftime.
Despite the poor shooting, Self was pleased with his team's effort in
the first 20 minutes. He enjoyed the second half even more, as the
Jayhawks shot a scorching 57.1 percent (49.1 percent for the game) and
held Baylor to just 30.8 percent shooting (36.4 percent for game). The
Jayhawks also outrebounded the Bears 37-29 and outscored them in the
"Regardless of how poorly we executed (the first half) — their pressure
bothered us and those things — we did compete," Self said. "We competed
on the glass. ... We didn't play very good at all the first half. The
second half, we looked good. I thought we played very well.
Defensively, we were obviously pretty good. I don't like it when Cole
(Aldrich) gets four fouls, but we certainly played out of foul trouble
Aldrich (nine points, eight boards, two blocks) went to the bench with
four fouls with 8:16 remaining in the game and KU up 56-51. When he
returned at the 3:23 mark, Kansas had pushed its lead to 66-58. Collins
scored six of those 10 points.
PROPS FOR SHERRON
Collins finished with 17 points (5-13 FG) and six assists in 39
minutes. He scored six points in the last 6:40 of the first half,
including a jumper at the halftime buzzer, to help rally KU from a
20-15 deficit and give KU a 30-28 lead at intermission.
"Sherron controlled the game," Self said. "This may be the best game
he's played this year as far as a true point guard game."
A HAPPY COACH
"Everybody played well," Self said. "Brady (Morningstar — six points,
2-3 from three-point range) made shots early in the game again. He
plays 40 minutes. I think he came out for a few seconds. Sherron plays
39. Tyshawn (Taylor, six points and four assists) did some good things.
(He) drove it, just missed layups. Tyrel made a big shot when they cut
it to one."
"I'm pleased," Self added. "I thought this would be a very difficult
place to play because of their talent level and being on Big Monday and
they'd be juiced. But give it up to KU fans. They had more fans here
than us, but it wasn't three to one or anything, and certainly our fans
made every bit as much noise as they did. ... We still got plenty of
things to work on, but it was a good feeling tonight."
KU next hosts Oklahoma State on Saturday in Allen Fieldhouse at 2:30
p.m. (CST) on ABC.
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